A Life in the Slow Lane

The Trips’s smallest move

Last night Sarah, I and the dogs went to “The Smugglers Inn” for dinner. They had done a great job of dressing the pub for Halloween and told us that they relied on the village more than the campsite for business. The beer was excellent, both the local Diekirch which I tried and the Belgian La Chouffe which Sarah had. The food was of a good pub standard, but I made the mistake of going for a non-standard burger. There was a choice of a 400 gram burger or a 650 gram one. I chose the smaller of the two but when it arrived the amount of meat was colossal. Unusually for me I failed to finish it. When the bill arrived it was apparent that they had given me the larger burger and when I woke at 3 am, all that meat still lay heavy in my stomach!

It was barely worth waking Basil up today. All he had to do was move nine miles from Diekirch, to Mersch, where we have arranged to meet my brother and his family.

Before that though the dogs had a little trip to the dog doctor. Luckily the rain died down a bit before we had to walk into Diekirch and we arrived at the vet’s ten minutes early. It was the smallest vet’s we have every attended. The waiting room was barely big enough to fit a Great Dane and the vet seemed to run the practice entirely single handedly. She answered the phone, made the appointments and did the “vetting”.

Mabel and Melek were given the once over to check their general health; she weighed each of them; and then gave them a worming tablet to make sure they are clear of whatever parasites Britain is paranoid about, before we set foot in “that green and pleasant land”. She was very good with the dogs and spoke excellent English for our benefit. Her last task was to write it all up in the pet passport so Melek and Mabel will be allowed into Blighty without any quarantine period.

We walked back to Basil and then set off on our epic 9 mile journey. It actually took one and a half hours to do the 9 miles because we had to make a stop at an upmarket supermarket to get some “nice beers” for my brother and a bottle of decent champagne for my brother’s partner, whose birthday it is today. We then, of course, had to make a, now almost compulsory, stop at, you guessed it, LIDL.

When we finally arrived at Camping Krounebierg (49.741131, 6.089955), a €17 a night ACSI site, we found a place had already been reserved for us close to the location of my brother’s mobile home. The reserved place was on grass, and because of the recent rain we went to inspect it to make sure it was firm enough for Basil’s bulk. We decided it was and so parked up Basil, while making sure we had things under the wheels to guarantee a smooth exit, with none of the mud churning we have experienced twice previously on this trip.

We had just got everything set up and sat down to lunch when the receptionist turned up and said his boss had told him we could not park on grass, in case we got stuck and we would have to move the other end of the site, several hundred metres from my brother, onto hard standing. He and I had a frank exchange of views, but he would not change his mind.

So after lunch we packed everything away, unplugged the electricity and moved down to the hard surfaced pitch. We were just manoeuvring into position when the same receptionist appeared at my driver’s door and said they had another idea. Many of the mobile homes were not being used this weekend and so we could park in front of some unused ones, on what was essentially a parking area for the cars of people in the mobile homes. That way we would be on hard standing, near my brother and there was an electricity connection nearby. Brilliant we thought and off we went again.

Basil had just parked up amongst his stationary cousins when an old man, who had been cleaning the mobile homes, appeared and told us we could not park where we had because it was reserved for mobile homes! We explained that these particular mobile homes were unoccupied for the weekend and we had been told by reception to park here. He said that one of the adjacent mobile homes was to be occupied tomorrow and we would have to “sort it out”. He went off chuntering and then reappeared only a few minutes later, saying that we were right and that none of the surrounding units were occupied until Sunday by when we would have gone!!

Basil’s final parking place amongst his stationary cousins.

What a palaver!!

We are now sitting and awaiting the arrival of Joe, my brother; Beatrice, his partner; and Noah and Lula, their children and Sarah and my nephew and niece.

Warning, there may be no blog tomorrow, depending on what we all decide to do with our time.